Statement of Faith
- The Holy Trinity – We believe in one God, eternally self-existent in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; that He is Creator and Administrator of all things visible and invisible; and that being the Sovereign God of the universe, He is infinitely holy in His nature, attributes and purpose.
- Gen. 1:1; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1-2; 16:13; Acts 5:3-4; Eph. 2:18; 1 John 5:7
- Jesus Christ
(1) We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the only begotten Son of God, and that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary and that He was eternally one with the Father.
(2) We believe that Jesus Christ took upon himself the form of man, was crucified and died as a sacrifice, not only for original sin, but for the actual sins of man, and that He alone can reconcile us to God.
(3) We believe that He arose from the dead, and took again His body in full authority of all things pertaining to the salvation and the perfecting of man’s nature. He ascended into heaven and is now there engaged in intercession for us.
- Matt. 1:23; John 1:14; Matt. 26:28; 27:62-66; 28:5-9, 16-17; John 14:1-3; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 1:3
- The Holy Spirit – We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, and that He proceeds from the Father and the Son and is equal with them in power, majesty and glory. He is ever-present and actively administrating grace, spiritual life and gifts to the church of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment. He regenerates all who truly repent and believe, He sanctifies believers and guides them into all truth.
- John 14:16-18; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 4:6
- The Holy Scriptures – We believe in the full inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures were given by inspiration of God so that what the human authors composed and recorded was an accurate reflection of His revelation of truth. The Holy Scriptures were originally recorded without error and they are the only infallible, sufficient and authoritative rule of faith and practice. They reveal the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation so only that which is contained therein shall be required as an article of faith.
- Ps. 19:7; Matt. 5:17-19; Luke 24:27; John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21
- Original Sin – We believe that original sin is that corruption of the nature of all offspring of Adam, whereby man is wholly gone from original righteousness, as a result of Adam’s sin. Therefore, man lives in a state of hostility with God, is not subject to the Law of God, and is inclined to evil continually. In this condition, man is totally incapable of righteousness or faith except for the prevenient (preliminary) grace that God bestows to all men. We further believe that original sin continues to exist in the heart and life of the believer until cleansed by the Holy Spirit.
- Gen. 8:21; Ps. 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 5:12, 18-19; Eph. 2:3
- The Atonement – Ground of Salvation – We believe that Jesus Christ, by the shedding of his own blood, and by His meritorious death on the cross, made a full atonement for all human sin. His atonement is the only ground (or basis) of salvation, and it is sufficient for every individual. The atonement is graciously effective for the salvation of the irresponsible and those not having reached the age of accountability, as well as for the salvation of all others when they truly repent of their sins and trust Christ and his atonement.
- Is. 52:13-53:12; Luke 24:45-47; John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:24-26; 5:8-11, 18-20; 1 John 4:10
- The Free Will – We believe God created man with the ability to make free moral choices for which he is personally accountable. As a result of original sin man is not capable in himself to place his faith in God and be saved. However, God has bestowed preliminary grace upon all people, enabling them to believe on Jesus Christ for salvation and cleansing from sin, if they so choose. After receiving the experience of saving grace, man remains free to willfully choose the way of sin again and depart from the faith. Whoever willfully chooses to persist in a life of sin and disobedience will be eternally lost unless he repents of his sin and becomes restored to divine favor. (Also see Paragraph P)
- Gen. 1:27; 2:16-17; 6:5; Deut. 30:19; Josh. 24:15; Ps. 51:5; Mark 7:21-23; John 7:17; Hebrews 11:6; James 4:17; Rev. 22:17
- Repentance – We believe that genuine repentance toward God includes the acknowledgment of and sorrow for sin that results in a voluntary confession and forsaking of it. Repentance follows from the knowledge of God’s judgment and mercy as described in the Word of God and confirmed by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God imparts grace and hope to all who repent so that they may exercise faith for pardon and new spiritual life.
- Mark 1:14-15; Luke 5:32; 24:46-47; Acts 3:19; 5:31; 20:21; Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25; 2 Peter 3:9
- Salvation (Justification, Regeneration and Adoption)
(1) We believe that justification is that gracious and judicial act of God by which He grants full pardon of all guilt and complete release from the penalty and record of all sins committed. All who believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior are credited with righteousness because of the shed blood of Christ.
(2) We believe regeneration is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the pardoned sinner truly receives spiritual life and initial sanctification. As a consequence of grace, by faith in Jesus Christ, believers are delivered from the power of sin which had previously reigned over them and are enabled to love God and serve Him with the will and affections of the heart.
(3) We believe that adoption is that gracious act of God whereby the justified and regenerated believer is made a child of God, receiving the Spirit of adoption whereby he cries, “Abba, Father.”
(4) We affirm that these divine acts of justification, regeneration and adoption occur simultaneously, and are confirmed by the witness of the Holy Spirit when the repentant sinner fully trusts in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice.
- Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:28; 5:1-2; John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:5,10; Col. 3:9-10; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5,7; Eph. 1:5
- Entire Sanctification – We believe that sanctification by faith is that infilling of the Holy Spirit, subsequent to regeneration, by which the child of God is cleansed from original sin. It is accomplished instantaneously by the Holy Spirit in the heart of a believer by a conscious act of full surrender and total commitment to God. It is provided by the shed blood of Jesus, to which the Holy Spirit gives witness in the believing heart, resulting in perfect love out of a pure heart and power for holy living and service. Sanctification implies neither the completion of spiritual growth or progress, nor absolute perfection. It is a relative perfection in which God imparts holiness and imputes perfection to those who are governed by and continue to develop in His holy love.
- Matt. 5:8, 48; John 17:17; Acts 15:8-9; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 1 John 1:7; 4:17-18
- The Second Coming of Christ – We believe in the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and that this precious hope is an inspiration to holy living. We understand the Second Coming to be in two stages: the first being the Rapture of the Church when He shall descend in clouds to meet them in the air for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Those who are abiding in Him when He so comes will be caught up with the risen saints to meet the Lord in the air, so shall they ever be with the Lord. Secondly, we believe that Christ will later come to earth in bodily form, and He will fulfill all the prophecies made concerning His final and complete triumph over all evil.
- Job 19:25-27; Matt. 24:1-51; John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 1:7-8; Rev. 19:11-16; 22:7
- Resurrection, Judgment and Destiny
(1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)
(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6)
(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)
- The Sacraments – We believe that there are two sacraments ordained by Jesus Christ; Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The waters of baptism and the elements of communion are visible signs that represent spiritual truths, and they are seals of promise that the spiritual truths have become a reality by God’s grace.
- Baptism is a sign and seal of regeneration or new birth, which provides a clear testimony of distinction from non-believers.
- The Lord’s Supper (Communion) is a sign and seal of our redemption through the blood of Christ, and a token of His coming again in glory.
- Matt. 3:13-15; Acts 2:38-41; Rom. 6:3-4; Matt. 26:26-28; 1 Cor. 10:3-4, 16-17; 11:23-29
- Divine Healing – We believe in the Bible doctrine of divine healing provided through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We urge believers to first offer the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick, then wisely seek God’s help through the means of medical science.
- Is. 53:5; Matt. 10:8; Luke 9:2; 1 Cor. 12:9, 28; James 5:14-16
- Rule of Faith
- We believe the Scriptures teach that salvation consists of justification, regeneration and adoption as explained in paragraph 9. A personal testimony to this saving grace is a sufficient test of faith, fellowship and church membership.
- We further believe the Holy Scriptures to be the sufficient rule of faith and practice. The freedom of private judgment and the liberty of conscience is a right and privilege that should be granted to all.
- (John 3:3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Tim. 3:15-17)
- Conditional Eternal Security – We believe that the eternal salvation of every Christian believer is secure, but not unconditional. Salvation is obtained and retained upon the condition of active faith in Jesus Christ and the provisions of redemption through his atoning blood. Salvation is forfeited at such time an individual willfully abandons his/her faith in Christ and/or persistently fails to exhibit a regenerate lifestyle (see Paragraph G).
- Rom. 3:22; 5:1; Eph. 2:8; Rom. 1:17; Col. 1:21-23; 1 Pet. 1:5; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 10:26
- The Church
- We believe that the universal church is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, and is solely made up of born-again believers. (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27)
- We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament. (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
- We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or controls, and any affiliations, societies, organizations, associations, or agencies with which this church chooses to affiliate in order to further the objectives stated in the Purpose Statement are not authoritative in matters of church practice or belief. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4)
- Authority Structures – We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. We believe that God has given each of these institutions specific biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with limitations regarding infringement upon the other. We believe that Christians must submit to these authorities unless required to act contrary to their faith at which time they must obey God rather than man.
- Matt. 22:15-22; Acts 5:29; Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Titus 3:1-2; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14
- Human Sexuality – We believe that God designed human sexuality and determined that sexual activity be experienced exclusively within the relationship of marriage between one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman. All other forms of sexual behavior including homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We further believe that God forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.
- Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Ps. 101:3; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4
- Family Relationships – We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but fill unique functions and roles in life. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values through instruction, consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline.
- Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12; 1 Pet. 3:1-7
- Marriage and Divorce – We believe that the biblical definition of marriage is the legal union of one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman for life. Divorce is not part of God’s design for marriage relationships, but it was permitted due to the hardness of human hearts. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of sexual immorality. Individuals who have committed marital sins may truly experience the forgiving, healing and restoring grace of God.
- Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23; Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6
- Sanctity of Human Life – We believe that all human life is created in the image of God and is therefore a sacred gift from the Creator, who alone has the authority to end life. We affirm that all people are reflections of God’s image and are worthy of life, liberty and respect regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and mental or physical abilities.
- Abortion. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. We oppose abortion on demand and the normal arguments of the so-called “pro-choice” movement that effectively eliminate the inalienable rights of the unborn. We acknowledge that an abortion performed strictly for the purpose of saving the physical life of the mother is a matter of private judgment. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
- Euthanasia. We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Any deliberate act or omission which is intended to cause or hasten death is a violation of the Sanctity of Life. However, if one chooses to discontinue extraordinary medical procedures that seem to prolong death, it does not constitute a violation of the Sanctity of Life. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28)
- Love – We believe that the two greatest commandments defined in Scripture are to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Therefore we believe that all Christians should demonstrate love for all people, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or use of violence as a means of resolving conflict, obtaining justice or opposing immoral practices in the culture. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions.
- Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Eph. 5:11; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; 4:2; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18
- Lawsuits Between Believers – We believe that Christians are scripturally prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.
- 1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32; Matt. 18:15-17